BBC英语六分钟 第129期:如何为考试作准备


Alice: Hello and welcome to 6 Minute English. I’m Alice…


Rob: And I’m Rob.


Alice: So, it’s nearly exam time again. And the subject of today’s show is how to prepare well for an exam.


Rob: I’ve got some great tips, actually, Alice.


Alice: Have you really? Can you remind me what grades you got at school?


Rob: Yes, well … [mumbles] …


Alice: So, you didn’t get very good grades.


Rob: I probably should’ve started revising earlier. But my learning strategies were very good.


Alice: Oh, really? Well, when you revise for an exam you study information you learned before. OK, Rob, I’d love to hear more about your learning strategies, but first here’s today’s quiz question for you. What’s the word for a system, such as use of special poems or rhymes to help you remember something? Is it …a) pneumatics b) mnemonics or c) hypnotics?

真的吗?那么,你考试之前什么时候开始复习之前学过的内容。好了,罗伯,我很想继续听你的学习方法,但你先来回答一下今天的问题吧。下面哪个表示借助特殊的诗词或韵律帮助记忆?a) 气体力学b) 记忆术还是 c) 催眠药?

Rob: I’ll go for b) mnemonics.

我选b) 记忆术。

Alice: Well, we’ll find out whether you got the answer right or not later on in the show. Now, according to current scientific research, some study methods popular with students aren’t actually very effective.


Rob: Don’t tell me – putting your textbook under your pillow at night doesn’t work.


Alice: Did you try doing that, Rob?


Rob: Yes, I did, but without much success. Maybe I was using the wrong kind of pillow? !


Alice: Well, let’s talk about more conventional methods than the book-under-the-pillow one. These include summarising, highlighting or underlining text to help you remember it… I do love a pack of highlighting pens, though.


Rob: Oh yes, me too. And actually highlighting text was one of my top tips. But I used to get so absorbed with the highlighting I’m not sure I was actually learning anything useful. My notebooks were works of art, though!


Alice: Yes, and that’s the point made by John Dunlosky, Professor of Psychology at Kent State University in the US, who says that you need to do more than just highlight information. You need to test yourself on it. Let’s hear from him now.


Students who can basically test themselves or try to retrieve material from their memory are going to learn that material in the long run a lot better. So for instance maybe you start by reading a textbook using your favourite highlighter and favourite colours, but then you go back and make flashcards of all the CRItical concepts and instead of just rereading those, you basically try to test yourselves on them.


Rob: Professor John Dunlosky there. So he says trying to memorise the material isn’t enough. You need to do something with it, for example, making flashcards of CRItical – or important – concepts and then testing yourself on them.


Alice: By repeatedly testing yourself on something, you strengthen the pathways between neurons – or nerve cells – in the brain. And the more often you do this, the easier it becomes to retrieve information.


Rob: And retrieve means to get something back.


Alice: That’s right. When you repeatedly test yourself over a longer period of time – for example, over months or weeks-this is called distributed practice – and psychologists believe this is a very effective way to learn.


Rob: It sounds like hard work, though, doesn’t it? I prefer the cramming method – which means to try and learn lots of information in a short period of time. For example, the night before the exam.


Alice: I don’t know, Rob. We don’t cram to learn other things – like music or dancing, or football or language learning. It’s far more effective to join a conversation class and practise speaking every week than to practise for hours in front of the mirror the night before your oral exam!


Rob: That’s a good point. In fact, I used to sing irregular French verbs to myself, every day in the shower for weeks before my French exam, and that helped me remember them more easily.


Alice: Excellent! Making different types of associations with what you’re trying to learn– for example, musical associations – is meant to be effective. Let’s listen now to Professor Dunlovsky talking about visual associations.


I would encourage students as they are reading to try and elaborate mentally using images, as they’re reading, to kind of develop a more vivid picture of what they’re reading. Again, that’ll help quite a bit for some kinds of studies – maybe history and so forth – and a little bit less so for more conceptual studies.


Rob: And if you elaborate on something, it means you add more information – in this case, mental pictures.

elaborate on something是指添加更多信息,这里是指脑海中的画面。

Alice: So, creating mental pictures is useful for some subjects – like history or languages. But conceptual subjects – ones based on abstract ideas rather than things – like maths, for example– it might not be so easy to associate ideas with pictures.


Rob: Now what about Albert Einstein? People say he was a very visual thinker.


Alice: Well, you’ve got me there, Rob. I don’t know the answer to that but I can give you the answer to today’s quiz question. I asked: What’s the word for a system, such as use of special poems or rhymes to help you remember something? Is it … a) pneumatics, b) mnemonics or c) hypnotics?

你把我难倒了。我不知道这个问题的答案,但是我能告诉你今天问题的答案。我问你,下列哪个表示借助特殊的诗词或韵律帮助记忆?a) 气体力学? b) 记忆术 还是 c) 催眠药?

Rob: I said mnemonics.

我选的是b) 记忆术。

Alice: And you were right!


Rob: Great!


Alice: Well done! Research on mnemonics suggests they are a good strategy for learning certain kinds of things, like how to spell difficult words. For example, the first letters of this sentence: ‘big elephants cause accidents under small elephants’ spells ‘because’. Now, do you think you can remember the words we heard today, Rob?

不错!对记忆术的研究表明,记忆术是帮助学习某种事物的绝佳方法,如学习如何拼写较难的单词。例如这句话的首字母’big elephants cause accidents under small elephants’可以拼出单词because。现在,罗伯,你还记得我们今天学到的单词吗?

Rob: We heard:










distributed practice








Alice: Well, that’s the end of today’s 6 Minute English. Remember to join us again soon!


Both: Bye.


来自:VOA英语网 文章地址: